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will, are you there? turn off your tv and go ahead. >> how you doing? why are we having all this squabble in this campaign. we didn't have it in ronald reagan's. we didn't have it in john f. kennedy. we didn't have it in eisenhower. why are we going to "david letterman"? this president should be out trying to find solutions to the problems of the united states of america. if he loves the united states of america, he should be out on his hinny getting this stuff done instead of talking all over this television and running romney down. host: thanks for the call from dayton, tennessee. want to give you one more story on the day, this from "the washington post," for politicians privacy vanishes in the age of video technology. mitt romney's mistake in speaking bluntly at a may
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fundraiser was not only in the words he spoke but failing to anticipate the ears they might breach, and audience that looked like an exclusive group of republican donors this week multiflied thanks to the pervasiveness of video technology. they are already confiscating smart phones but they have been largely overmatched as time and again moments intended to be kept secret have turned up on the internet. there is a total collapse of the notion of private space that the republican strategist, and top advisor of senator john mccain's presidential campaign in 2008, increasingly, politicians who say one thing behind closed doors and another to the public get caught doing it. we go to a call from sean on the independent line. what's on your mind? caller: how are you today? i just think it's important to acknowledge everybody in a situation. independent, republicans,
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democratic. i think i'm most of the population 30 and under. that's a guess. i don't want to speak inappropriately. i think it's important for a president to feel the same way. i do understand the republicans understand romney. and i don't think there's democrats that didn't understand what he meant. i think that it's not just a fear, but it's also just a concern for many like myself who see his lack -- not his lack of respect, i don't want to say something wrong here. just that he would say something like that and also not understand how i feel. and everybody else. not just simply trying to justify it. i do understand him. i am a -- i'm just saying -- host: sean we have to leave it there. thanks so much for your call this morning. that's going to wrap up today's "washington journal" on this
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september 19. we'll leave you now live at a senate homeland security and government affairs committee hearing where they will be discussing threats and agency responses. thanks for joining us. we'll see you tomorrow. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]
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>> the hearing will come to
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order. good morning to all. this is our annual, our committee's annual home lapd threat assessment hearing -- homeland threat assessment hearing. i want to welcome back janet napolitano, secretary of department of homeland security, and matt olsen, and the associate deputy director, kevin perkins, who is standing in for director bob mueller today. the director had to undergo unexpected surgery resulting from complications associated with recent dental treatment. he's unable to join us today. but we welcome mr. perkins in his stead. we with confidence we extend best regards to the director for a speedy recovery. this will be the final time that i have the privilege of chairing this annual hearing, so i want to use this opportunity to thank
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each of you for your leadership in our nation's homeland security and counterterrorism efforts through you to thank those who work with you in each of your departments or agencies. and more narrowly to thank you for the productive relationship that each of you and your predecessors have had with this committee. the obvious fact is, as i look at the three of you and look back, is that on september 11, 2001, two of the three organizations testifying today did not exist. and the third, the f.b.i., was a very different organization than it is today. focused on domestic crime as it had been for quite a while. obviously in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on america
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of 9/11, 2001, congress and the executive branch created the department of homeland security and then pursuant to the 9/11 commission recommendation created the national counterterrorism center. the f.b.i. essentially recreated itself into a first rate domestic counterterrorism intelligence agency. in addition to carrying out all its other responsibilities. in his absence we should thank director mueller for what i think is an extraordinary job he's done in overseeing this historic transformation and to thank the two of you, secretary napolitano, and director olsen, for what you have done together these changes represent the most significant reforms of america's
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national security organizations since the 1940's, at the beginning of the cold war. it's not coincidental since after 9/11 we understood we were facing a very different threat to our national security and with an intensity that we hadn't experienced through most of american history, a very real threat to our homeland security. as i look back, i really want to again thank you, your predecessors in each of these roles, f.b.i., bob mueller, has pretty much been there the whole time, and the thousands of federal employees who work under you, because i think without question, because of all that the three organizations represented here before us have
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done, the american people have been much safer here at home than we otherwise would have been. we the american people, would have been if you had not existed. with a lot of gratitude, i thank you for that remarkable transformation. we made a lot of progress. we have kept the enemy away for most of the last 11 years. the most significant -- put it a different way, the most lethal threats or attacks on our homeland have been carried out by homegrown terrorists, hassan at fort hood, and bledsoe at the army recruiting station in little rock. but the battle goes on and it's hard to reach a conclusion other than it will go on for a long time. obviously we hold this hearing
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today still mourning the deaths of the american ambassador to libya, chris stevens, and three other state department personnel . still speaking personally infuriated by those attacks that resulted from a movement against, which i believe to be a terrorist act, against our consulate in benghazi on the 11th anniversary of the attacks of september 11. these attacks do many things, but they remind us i think first of the bravery and commitment of government officials who serve in countries around the world, supporting the struggles of people in those countries, to live free. and by doing so work to improve our own national security. the attack in libya also reminds us that even though the core of al qaeda has been seriously
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weakened, we still face threats from an evolving and fractious set of terrorist groups and individuals united by a common ideology which is that of haven't -- violent islamist extremism. i'll have some questions to ask the three of you about the nature of the terrorist threat today and specifically with regard to the reaction to this film whether you think it has raised the threat level against any places or institutions or individuals here in the united states. reporting to us on the terrorist threat to the homeland today, i also hope you'll address other concerns such as the effort to counter homegrown violent islamist groups and the threat to our homeland and people in a different way over the last couple of years posed by the
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islamic republic of iran, its iranian guard corps and the qods force and proxy group such as hezbollah which certainly seem to be reaching outside of their normal areas of operation in the middle east in conducting attacks elsewhere, including an attempted assassination, which was thwarted on the saudi ambassador here in washington, and apparently the attack on a tourist bus in bulgaria just a short while ago. i'd like to just say a few words about cybersecurity, which has been a significant focus of this committee this year. we know how serious the problem is. enormous amount of
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cyberespionage and cyberleft going on -- cybertheft going on and increasing changer of cyberattack. as you know the cybersecurity act of 2012, which was the compromise bipartisan legislation that made it to the senate floor, has had problems in getting enough votes to get taken up on the senate floor. we worked for years with partners on both sides of the aisle. we had extensive consultations with private industry, and of course we went to substantial lengths to find common ground including making the standards voluntary and not mandatory for the private sector on cyberinfrastructure. but despite the magnitude of the threat as recognized by national security leaders and experts from the last two administrations regardless of party, and the many compromises
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that were made, the bill was fly balled on the senate floor last -- flibbled on the senate floor last month -- filibustered on the senate floor last month and couldn't come up. all of you have said, director mueller perhaps most -- memorably that in his opinion the threat of cyberattack will soon replace the threat of terrorist attack as a danger for our homeland security. i believe that -- it's obvious we are not going to pass the cybersecurity legislation before the election, and because we are probably leaving here in the next couple of days to return after the election, but i think it's still possible, and i'd add critical, for the congress to pass a cyberbill this session and i certainly will continue to try to do everything in my power to do so, but i must say if the
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gridlock continues as i fear it will, then the president and others in the executive branch should really do everything within their powers, i know they are considering actively now to raise our defenses against cyberattack and cyberthreat. -- cybertheft. the fact is that because of the inadequate defenses of america's privately owned critical cyberinfrastructure, we are very vulnerable to a major cyberattack. perhaps a catastrophic cyberattack. well beyond in its impact what we suffered on 9/11. i understand that executive action cannot do everything legislation can to protect us from cyberattack, but it can do a lot. and if -- as this session of congress concludes at the end of this year, we have still failed to fix this problem and close
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some of our vulnerabilities to cyberattack, then i certainly hope the president will step in along with the -- you, secretary napolitano, and act as strongly as you can to protect our country. and i'll be asking some questions of you when we get to that point in the testimony. i thank you again for being here . i look forward to this hearing every year. it's sometimes unsettling, but it's really important as a report to both congress and the american people about the status of the current threat to our homeland. senator collins. >> thank you, mr. chairman. last week we have -- we observed the 11th anniversary of the horrific attacks of september 11, 2001. we again remembered the victims and the heroes of that day. and we acknowledge the dedicated
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military intelligence, law enforcement, and homeland security professionals who have worked together to bring terrorists to justice and to prevent another large-scale attack within the united states. and i want to join the chairman in thanking each of you for your hard work in that endeavor. tragically, however, we have also witnessed violent attacks on the u.s. consulates in benghazi, libya, that resulted in the killing of our ambassador and three other brave americans. while these attacks remain under investigation, it is difficult not to see shades of the 1998 attacks on our embassies in kenya and tanzania, which were
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among the many precursors to the attacks of 9/11. this tragedy once again underscores the ongoing threat we face both abroad and at home from violent islamists extremists. in the aftermath of 9/11, we took significant actions to address this threat. when senator lieberman and i authored the intelligence reform and terrorism prevention act of 2004, our aim was to improve coordination within the intelligence community and among the key stakeholders at all levels of government. achieving the goals of this landmark law remains a work in progress. we know we face a determined enemy. al qaeda in the arabian
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peninsula has tried repeatedly to exploit holes in our security. the failed 2009 christmas day bomber used the device specifically designed to avoid detection. the 2010 plots to circumvent improvements in passenger screening by targeting cargo. in may of this year al qaeda tried again, the bomb maker apparently sought to avoid the failures of the earlier christmas day attack. through the aggressive efforts of our intelligence community, fortunately this plot was disrupted before it could threaten american lives. nofrlse -- nevertheless that operation was also plagued by leaks, apparently from within the executive branch, that may have undermined future efforts and compromised sources.
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not every threat that we face has been met with sufficient resolve and action. perhaps the best example which the chairman has mentioned is the ever increasing cyberthreat. experts have repeatedly warned that the computer systems that run our electric grids, our water plants, transportation systems, financial networks are vulnerable to a cyberattack that could harm millions of americans. in fact, rarely has there been such a bipartisan consensus among experts that this threat must be addressed. just last week former deputy secretary of defense, john hamry, said the threats in cyberspace, quote, took a darker turn, end quote, this summer as
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three very large corporations experienced cyberattacks designed to damage operations. citing government sources he said that at least two of the attacks may have come from iran. china and russia we know have also launched cyberattacks. to respond to this escalating threat, the chairman and i have worked during the past two years to craft a bipartisan bill that relies on the expertise of government and the innovation of the private sector. despite our hard work to find common ground, the senate has failed to pass cybersecurity legislation. given the significant damage already done to our economy and our security, as well as our clear vulnerability to even worse attacks, this failure to
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act is inexcusable. former d.h.s. secretary, michael chertoff, and former n.s.a. and c.i.a. chief michael haden described the urgency this way. we carry the burden of knowing that 9/11 might have been averted with the intelligence that existed at the time. we do not want to be in the same position again when a cyber9/11 hits. it is not a question of whether this will happen, it is the question of when. this time all the dots have been connected. this time the warnings are loud and clear. and this time we must heed them. in contrast to the known threat of cyberattacks, another persistent challenge we face comes from those threats we failed to even anticipate what the 9/11 commission memorably
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referred to as a failure of imagination. the so-called black swan events that cast our assumptions. these are our most vexing problem because we cannot simply build walls around every potential target. nevertheless, if we strengthen information sharing and the analytic capabilities our law enforcement and intelligence officers can disrupt even more plots whether they are ones that we know well are coming or those that we have never before seen. in my judgment, which is informed by numerous briefings and discussions with experts, the attack in benghazi was notal black swan, but rather an attack that should have been anticipated based on the
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previous attacks against western targets, the proliferation of dangerous weapons in libya, the presence of al qaeda in that country, and the overall threat environment. whether the plots -- whatever the plots hatched by our enemies, i am also concerned about vulnerabilities that stem from our own government as actions or failure to act. i have already noted what i believe to be the inexplicable lack of security in benghazi. the great self-inflicted wounds from intelligence leaks, and the failure to enact a cybersecurity bill. there is also a genuine danger posed by the automatic, mindless
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cuts known as sequestration. absent a commitment by the president and congress to avoid this disastrous policy, the budget of every federal agency represented here today, the department of homeland security, the national counterterrorism center, the f.b.i., the very agencies charged with protecting our nation from terrorism and other disasters, will be slashed in an indiscriminate way by 8% or more, potentially harming such vital programs as border security, intelligence analysis, and the f.b.i.'s work. at a time when budget constraints require everyone to sacrifice and priorities to be set, and waste to be eliminated,
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we should ask where resources can be spent more effectively and what tradeoffs should be made to balance the risk we face with the security we can afford. what we cannot afford, however, is to weaken a homeland security structure that is helping to protect the citizens of this country. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much, senator collins. secretary napolitano, thank you for being here. we would welcome your testimony at this time. >> thank you, chairman lieberman, ranking member collins, members of the committee. i'd also like to thank deputy director perkins and director olsen for their partnership. mr. chairman, this is my 17th appearance before you. it is my 44th hearing overall since becoming secretary of the department. i am grateful, personally, for this committee's tireless advocacy on behalf of d.h.s. not
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only during its initial creation, but in the time since. senator, you have been one of our strongest supporters and our nation's security has benefited as a direct result. thank you for all you have done to make the country more security. 181 years after the sneven attacks, america -- 11 years after the 9/11 attacks, america is stronger and more security thank to the work of the men and women of d.h.s., local, state, tribal, international partners, and members of this committee. while the united states has made significant progress since the 9/11 attacks, we know that threats from terrorists persist and continually evolve. we face direct threats from al qaeda. we face growing threats from other foreign-based terrorist groups which are inspired by al kidial ideology. and we must address threats that are homegrown as well as those that originate abroad. these threats are not limited to
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any one individual, group, or ideology. as we have seen, the tactics employed by terrorists can be as simple as a homemade bomb or as sophisticated as a biologic threat or coordinated cyberattack. while we deal with a number of threats and threat actors at any given time, three areas merit special sustained attention. the first is aviation. the christmas day 2009 plot, the october, 2010 air cargo threat, and the aqap plot earlier this year that would have targeted a u.s.-bound airliner with explosives make clear that commercial aviation remains a target. terrorists, especially aqap, continue to seek ways to circumvent existing security measures. their methods and tactics are sometimes ingenious and increasingly sophisticated. a second threat area is cyberas both of you have mentioned. cyberthreats and incidents have
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increased significantly over the past decade. our nation confronts a dangerous combination of known and unknown vulnerabilities in cyberspace. strong and rapidly expanding adversary capabilities and limited threat and vulnerability analysis and awareness. we are committed to working with the congress to make sure the department and our nation have the schools and authorities we need to effectively confront threats to cyberspace. and that includes minimum standards for our nation's critical infrastructure. we remain hopeful that the congress can pass strong cybersecurity legislation. and i thank you, chairman lieberman, and ranking member collins, for your leadership in this area. the third area of growing concern is homegrown violent extremism. within the context of u.s.-based violent extremism, we know that foreign terrorist groups affiliated with al qaeda and individual extremists are actively seeking to recruit or
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inspire westerners to carry out attacks against western and united states targets. importantly, however, as recent events have demonstrated, we also know that violent extremism can be inspired by various religious, political, or other identify elogical -- ideological beliefs. moreover the attack last week against the u.s. consulate in libya that took the life of ambassador stevens and three other americans, the terrorist attack in bulgaria in july, as well as this summer's shootings in aurora, colorado, and oak creek, wisconsin, demonstrate that we must remain vigilant and prepared. and certainly our thoughts are with those impacted by these senseless attacks. how do we mitigate the threat? we mitigate these threats in several ways? first and foremost we have worked to build a homeland security enterprise that allows d.h.s. and our many partners to detect threats earlier, to share information, to minimize risks, and to maximize our ability to
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respond and recover from attacks and disasters of all kinds. with respect to the aviation sector, we have implemented a layered detection system, focusing on risk-based screening, enhanced target, and information sharing. why while simultaneously facilitating travel for nearly two million domestic air travelers every day. following the december, 2009, threat we launched the historic global initiative to strengthen international aviation, which has improved cooperation on passenger and air cargo screening, technology development, and deployment, and information collection and sharing. as well as the development of internationally accepted security standards. as part of this effort, last week in montreal 132 member states of the international civil aviation organization, met to reaffirm our commitment to these principles and to continue our progress.
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including through the development of global air cargo security standards. we have strengthened information sharing with our international partners. for example, our new and historic p.n.r. agreement with the e.u. allows us to continue sharing passenger information so that we can better identify travelers who merit our attention before they depart for the united states. in addition to our targeting program, immigration advisory program, and enhanced inbound targeting operations, all of these allow us to more effectively identify high-risk travelers who are likely to be inadmissible to the u.s. and make recommendations to commercial air carriers to deny boarding before a plane departs. and at home we have continued the deployment of advanced technology at airports, including a.i.t. machines while implementing new programs to make the screening process more efficient for trusted travelers through programs such as t.s.a. precheck and global entry. around the cyberdomain we have
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partnered with sector specific agencies and the private sector to help security space. such as the financial sector, power grid, water systems, and transportation networks. we have taken significant action to protect federal civilian government systems through the deployment of intrusion detection systems like einstein, greater diagnostics, and sharing of threat information, national exercises and incident response planning, public awareness and outreach programs, and a cyberwork force initiative to recruit the next generation of cyberprofessionals. and internationally we are working with our partners to share expertise, combat cybercrime, and strengthen shared systems and networks. finally, we have improved our domestic capabilities to detect and prevent terrorist attacks against our citizens, our communities, and our critical infrastructure. we have increased our ability to analyze and distribute threat information at all levels. specifically we have worked to
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build greater analytic capability through 77 designated fusion centers resulting in unprecedented levels of information sharing and analysis at the state and local level. we have invested in training for local law enforcement and first responders of all times to increase expertise and capacity at the local level. in partnership with d.o.j. we transformed how we train frontline officers regarding suspicious activities through a nationwide suspicious activity reporting initiative, and as part of that initiative we have helped to train over 234,000 law enforcement officials. we are in the final stages of implementing a countering violent extremism curriculum for federal, state, local, and correctional law enforcement officers that is focused on community oriented policing which will help frontline personnel identify activities that are potential indicators of terrorist activity and violence. we have also expanded training
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with respect to active shooter threats, providing a range of information, tools, case studies, and resources to federal, state, and local partners to help them prepare for and if necessary respond to attacks involving active shooters. and through the nationwide expansion of the if you see something say something campaign, we continue to encourage all americans to alert local law enforcement if they see something that is potentially dangerous. in conclusion, d.h.s. has come a loping way in the 11 years since 9/11 to enhance protection of the united states and engage our partners in this shared responsibility. together we have made significant progress to strengthen the homeland security enterprise, but significant challenges remain. threats against our nation, whether by terrorism or otherwise, continue to exist and to evolve. and we must continue to evolve as well. we continue to be ever vigilant
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to protect against threats while promoting travel and trade and safeguarding our essential rights and liberties. i thank the committee for your support in these endeavors and for your attention as we work together to keep the country safe. >> thanks very much, secretary napolitano, for that opening statement which was a good beginning for us. probably most americans, certainly a large number, most probably know about the federal bureau of investigation and the department of homeland security. probably very few know about the national counterterrorism center which was created by what i call the 9/11 commission legislation. but it's really one of the most significant steps forward we have taken in our government. it's the place at which to go back to language eall used after 9/11, we make sure that the dots are on the same board and can be connected. as we have discussed, we have now figured out how to put so many dots on that same board, the challenge now is to see them
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all and see the patterns and connections. i think the folks have really taken us a long way working with the department of homeland security and the f.b.i. and, matt, i thank you for your leadership and look forward to your testimony now. >> thank you very much, chairman lieberman and rahm collins, member of the committee. i really do appreciate this opportunity to be here this morning. i also want to express my appreciation to your committee towards leadership on national security matters and certainly your support of nctc from its inception. i thank you for your comments this morning about our work and accept those on behalf of the men and women at nctc. i'm also very pleased to be here secretary napolitano, and associate deputy director perkins, we are close partners in the fight against terrorism. in my brief remarks this morning i will focus on recent events and highlight a few areas of real key concerns for us and then i'll take a moment to
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highlight our efforts at nctc to analyze and share critical threat information. certainly the attack on our diplomatic post in benghazi last week took the lives of four americans, including ambassador stevens, is proof that acts of terror and violence continue to threaten our citizens and our interests around the world. as the president said, these americans just this past friday, they didn't simply embrace the american ideal, they lived it. it's now our responsibility to honor them by fulfilling our mission to combat terrorism and combat violent extremism. the intelligence community i can tell you is working as one to determine what exactly happened in benghazi, to uncover new threats in the region, and then to identify and bring to justice those who are responsible for this attack. last week the attack -- last week's attacks should be he viewed in the context of the evolving threat landscape we
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face as well as the ongoing unrest and political transition in the region. more than a decade after the september 11 attacks, we face a dynamic threat from al qaeda, from its affiliates, as well as those who follow al qaeda's ideology. there is no doubt that over the past few years our government working with our allies has placed relentless pressure on al qaeda's core leadership. we have denied the group safe haven. we denied the group resources and ability to plan and train. in short, the intelligence picture showed that al qaeda's core impact is a shadow of its former self. even as the leadership in pakistan struggles to remain relevant, the terrorist threats we face have become diverse. al qaeda has turned to other groups to carry out attacks and advance its ideology. they are grouped in an array of countries including yemen, somalia, and iraq. in particular al qaeda in the arabian peninsula is the group
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most likely we think to attempt attacks against the united states. we saw this in may with the disruption of an plot to take down an airliner. other groups such as the al qaeda in iraq, as well as militants based in pakistan all pose threats to our citizens and interests in those regions of the formed. -- world. we are also focused on threats poses by iran and hezbollah. iran remains the foremost state sponsor of terrorism over the world. over the past year the threat from iranian sponsored terrorism has increased. inside the united states we remain vigilant to prevent violent extremists from carrying out attacks in the name of al qaeda. this past week the f.b.i. arrest add chicago man after he tried to blow up a crowded bar in the city. a federal judge sentence add virginia man to 0 years in prison for plotting to bomb the u.s. capitol. these plots highlight the danger that al qaeda-inspired
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extremists pose to our country. beyond these threats we face a period of unrest and a period of transition in the middle east and north africa. the arab spring or awakening now in progress for well over a year have led to fundamental reforms in the region. al qaeda was not part of this change, but the group is seeking to take advantage of the unrest in some areas. seeking to establish safe havens and recruit extremists where security is diminished. now, if i may, turning to the role of the national counterterrorism center. congress and this committee created nctc to help lead this effort to combat these threats. our founding principle is the imperative to integrate all terrorism information and share that knowledge with those on the frontlines of this fight. will i take a few moments to describe the ways in which we are seeking to achieve this goal every day at nctc. first intelligence information and state-of-the-art analysis. nctc serves as the prior marry -- primary organization in the government for assessing all
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intelligence relating to international terrorism. we have a unique responsibility to exam all terrorism issues, spanning geographical boundaries, to identify and analyze threat information, regardless whether that information is selected inside or without jide -- outside the united states. our culture is defined by collaboration. nearly every nctc analytic product is coordinated throughout the intelligence community. it therefore reflects multiple perspectives for policymakers and operators alike. secondly, access to data and technological innovation. we are promoting information integration and sharing with the development of a counterterrorism data layer. this approach to data allows our analysts to action sess terrorism that we have collected from across the government in a single place and allows us to do that without having to manually search multiple networks. here if i may i would like to make a point about the fisa amendments act, a lou set to expire at the end of this year. as this committee knows this law
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authorizes the government to collect valuable intelligence voffering international terrorists and other enemies by targeting non-americans who are overseas. these provisions were carefully crafted and carefully implemented to protect the privacy and civil liberties of americans and should remain law. thirdly nctc has enhanced its focus on tactical intelligence and developing leads involving threats to the united states. we established a pursuit group, analysts from across the counterterrorism community, who have unparalleled data access and expertise. their mission is to focus on information that could lead to the discovery of threats, to connect those dots, to identify actionable leads for agencies such as the f.b.i., the department of homeland security, and the c.i.a. finally, nctc provides situational awareness and intelligence support to the broad counterterrorism community. our operation center which is co-located with the f.b.i. watch
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provides around the clock support to counterterrorism agencies. we also maintain the government's central repository for terrorist identities. this enables us to provide near real time watch listing data to support screening and law enforcement activities across the government. in addition, the interagency threat assessment and coordination group, which is located at nctc and is led by senior d.h.s. and f.b.i. officers, brings federal and state and local officers together in one place at nctc. this group is dedicated to providing relevant intelligence on terrorism issues to state and local, tribal, and private sector partners helping to ensure that information is shared with public safety officials, including police officers and firefighters. faced with the possible loss of funding, we are working closely with d.h.s. and f.b.i. to retain this capability. mr. chairman, you have been a strong supporter of it and have noted its successes and i am personally committed to working
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with d.h.s. and f.b.i. to sustaining this initiative, to finding ways to do so in a cost-effective way, and we are working closely together to charter a way ahead. i just want to close by identifying our most important aspect and that's our people. nctc is working to meet the many challenges ahead, but that effort is really dependent on our diverse and dedicated work force. maintaining this work force through the continued commitment and support of agencies like d.h.s., the f.b.i., and other organizations is a priority for me at the center. mr. chairman, ranking member, members of the committee, thank you again for the opportunity to speak with you this morning. thank you for your continued support of nctc. i look forward to answering any questions. >> thank you, director olsen. director perkins, thanks again for being here and we welcome your testimony now. >> gloom, chairman lieberman, ranking member collins, and members of the committee. thank you for the opportunity to appear before the committee today and for your continued support of the men and women of
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the f.b.i. i also want to thank secretary napolitano and director olsen and the men and women they lead in our joint fight against those seeking to do harm against u.s. citizens here and around the world. as you know, the bureau has undergone unprecedented transformation in recent years. since the attacks of september 11, we have refocused our efforts to address and prevent emerging terrorist threats. a terrorist threat is more diverse than it was 11 years ago, but today we in the f.b.i. are in a better place to meet that threat. we also face increasingly complex threats to our nation's cybersecurity. nation state actors, sophisticated organized crime groups, and hackers for hire are steaming trade secrets and valuable research from america's companies, universities, and government agencies. cyberthreats also pose a significant risk to our nation's critical infrastructure. as these threats continue to
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evolve, the f.b.i. must continue to adapt to counter those threats. we must continue to build partnerships with our law enforcement and private sector partners, as well as the communities we serve. above all, we must remain firmly committed to carrying out our mission while protecting the civil rights and civil liberties of the people we serve. counter terrorism remains our number one priority. we face a fluid and dynamic and complex terrorist threat. we have seen an increase ithe sources of terrorism, a wider array of terrorism targets, a greater cooperation among terrorist groups, and an evolution in terrorist tactics and communications methodologies. in the past decade, al qaeda has become decentralized, but the group remains committed to high profile attacks against the west. al qaeda affiliates and surrogates, especially al qaeda in the arabian peninsula or aqap, now help the top
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counterterrorism threats in the nation. threes groups have attempted several attacks on the united states, including the failed christmas day airline bombing in 2009, and the attempted bombing of u.s.-bound cargo planes in october of 2010. we also remain concerned about the threat from homegrown violent extremists. over the past years we have seen increased activity among extremist individuals. these individuals have no typical profile. their experiences and motives are often distinct. lone offenders, some of whom have some affiliation with known domestic terrorist organizations, present a special challenged. they may be self-trained, self-financed, and self-executing, they are motivated to take action in their beliefs but stand on the periphery and hard and difficult to identify. unfortunately we have recently seen a number of lone offender incidents as we have recently witnessed the shooting at the
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sikh temple in wisconsin. this committee knows the cyberthreat that is also evolved in growing significantly over the past decade. foreign cyberspies have become increasingly adept at exploiting weaknesses in our computer networks. once inside they can exfill rate government and military secrets as well as valuable intellectual property. information that can greatly improve the competitive advantage of state-owned companies. unlike state sponsored intruders, hackers for profit do not seek information for political power, rather they seek information for sale and trade to the highest bidder. in some cases these hackers have joined forces to create syndicates. organized crime in cyberspace offers a higher profit with lower probability of being identified and prosecuted. and actors such as anonymous, are pioneering their own forms of anarchy. with these diverse threats we anticipate that cybersecurity
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may well become our highest priority in years to come. that is why we are strengthening our cybercapabilities in the same way we enhanced our intelligence and national security capabilities in the wake of the september 11 attacks. we are focusing our cyberdivision on computer intrusions and network attacks. we are also hiring additional computer scientists to provide expert technical support to critical investigations ongoing in the field. as part of these efforts, we are expanding our cybersquads in each field office to become cybertask force that is will be focused on intrusions and network attacks. we are also working with our partners to improve on the national cyberinvestigative joint task force, or ncijtf. the f.b.i.-led multiagency focal point for coordinating and sharing of cyberthreat information. the national cyberinvestigative joint task force brings together 18 law enforcement military and intelligence agencies to stop
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current and predict future attacks. as we have in the past, we will be inviting the participation of our federal, state, and local partners as we move forward with these initiatives. as we have all been changed to keep pace with today's environment, we must always act within the confines of the rule of law and the safeguards guaranteed by the constitution. fog the rule of law and upholding civil liberties, these are not burdens. these are what make all of us safer and stronger. chairman lieberman and ranking member collins, i thank you for this opportunity to discuss the f.b.i.'s priorities and the state of the bureau as it stands today. mr. chairman, let me again acknowledge the leadership that you and this committee have provided to the f.b.i., the transformation of the f.b.i. over the past 11 years would not have been possible without the support of congress and the american people. i would be happy to answer any questions you may have at this time, sir. >> thanks very much, director perkins.
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it's been a privilege to work with the f.b.i. and other agencies here. we'll do a seven-minute first round of questions. let me focus in on the recent wave of protests and the attacks -- protests throughout the large parts of the muslim world but also the attacks in benghazi. director olsen, let me begin with you. see if you can help us separate this out. it certainly seems to me that there were a series of protests that were set off as a result of this film. i'll get back to that, but that what happened in benghazi looked like a terrorist attack. the nctc uses a definition of terrorism, which i think is a good one, a politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by
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subnational groups or clandestine agents, end quote. so let me begin by asking you whether you would say that ambassador stevens and the three other americans died as a result of a terrorist attack. >> certainly on that particular question i would say yes. they were killed in the course of a terrorist attack on our embassy. >> right. do we have reason to believe at this point that that terrorist attack was sort of preplanned for september 11? or did the terrorists who were obviously planning it -- because it certainly seemed to be a coordinated terrorist attack, just seize the moment of the demonstrations or protest against the film to carry out a terrorist attack? >> a more complicated question
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and one, mr. chairman, that we are spending a great deal of time looking at even as we speak. it's obviously the investigation here is ongoing and facts are being developed continually. the best information we have now, the facts that we have now, indicate that this was an opportunistic attack on our embassy. the attack began and evolved and escalated over several hours. our diplomatic post in benghazi. it evolved and escalated over several hours. it appears that individuals who were certainly well armed seized on the opportunity presented as the events unfolded that evening into the morning hours of september 12. we do know that a number of militants in the area, as i mentioned, are well armed and maintain those arms. what we don't have at this point is specific intelligence that
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there was significant advanced planning or coordination for this attack. again, we are still vofinge facts and still looking for any indications of substantial advance planning. we just haven't seen that at this point. i think the most i would say at this point i do want to emphasize that there is a classified briefing for all of congress that will take place tomorrow. >> we'll be there. let me come back to what you said. there was evidence or intelligence that, as you indicated broadly a moment ago, that in eastern libya, benghazi area, there were a number of militant or violent islamist extremist groups. do we have any idea at this point who with a-r was -- was responsible among those groups on the attack on the consulate? >> this is the most important question that we are considering. we are focused on who was
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responsible for this attack. at this point what i would say is that a number of different elements appear to have been involved in the attack, including individuals connected to militant groups that are prevalent in eastern libya, particularly in the benghazi area, as well we are looking atp individuals involved in the attack had connections to al qaeda or affiliates. in particular al qaeda and islamic. >> so that question has not been determined yet whether it was a militant libyan group or a group associated with al qaeda influence from abroad. >> that's right. i would add that the picture that is emerging is one where a number of different individuals were involved. so it's not necessarily an either/or proposition. as you know the f.b.i. is leading the investigation and that's ongoing. >> i want to go to you now,
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director perkins, and ask you about that. what is the status of the f.b.i. investigation into the attack on our consulate in benghazi, libya? >> yes, mr. chairman. as director olsen noted we have an open investigation at this time. we have significant number of f.b.i. agents, analysts, and very supportive employees assigned to this matter. we are conducting interviews, gathering evidence, and trying to sort out the facts working with our partners, both from a criminal standpoint as well as in the intelligence community to try to determine exactly what took place on the ground that evening. >> secretary napolitano, let me go to you and mr. perkins, if you want to add, i know that last thursday the department of homeland security and the f.b.i. released a bulletin indicating that this film was the apparent catalyst for these protests and that that fact could increase the risk of violence here in the united states and could motivate
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homegrown violent extremists, certainly with their recruitment efforts and perhaps with actions. i wonder if in this setting you could comment on the state of your concern about that and what steps d.h.s. and the f.b.i. are taking, along with other government agencies, to proactively address the potentially higher risk of homegrown terrorist act as a result of the film. >> right now, mr. chairman, we have no intelligence of impending violent attacks within the united states. there is open source, some planned demonstrations, in i believe los angeles and houston, among other places. those are posted on the web. but we have no indication of anything that is violent in nature. nonetheless, immediately after the attack in benghazi, we began
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outreach to a number of groups within the country, faith-based groups and others, who could be the target of a violent attack and provided them with guidance on things they can do to make sure they are as safe as possible. so we continue that outreach. we continue working with our local partners in terms of what they are seeing on the ground and then monitoring the open source media. >> thank you. let me ask you, finally, what we as a government can do to counteract the impact of this film? we are a country of almost 310 billion people now. this film, hateful, really, was done by a handful of people, and yet american embassies,
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consulates, not only are the subject of protests, which is very much in the american spirit of civil protests and right of free speech, but going beyond that to destruction of property and at its worst a terrorist attack on benghazi that kills four people, and one other case i believe in yemen, the demonstrators had -- were armed. of course in some cases including tunisia the local police, security forces actually ended up having to fire at crowds to stop them from doing further damage. . i know this is very sensitive and it's very sensitive but we have to ask our friends in the muslim world and ourselves to be able to say, this film doesn't represent us and therefore it is simply unacceptable even if we're
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offended by the film, which we understand, to do more than protest, to begin to act violently, no more than would be acceptable in this country if some group feeds on the statement of a french religious leader or a political leader in some foreign country that attacked america, that attacked christians, that attacked jews and as a result some group in america started to not just protest but to attack the embassy of the country in which that happened to happen. in other words, i think this favors -- we have to blow the whistle on this. fortunately we had some help from our allies in countries like libya and the government and tunisia and i think we have to be forth right in doing that ourselves. apologies for the length of the question and the opportunity i took to get a little bit off my
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chest. i wonder if you could tell us or any of the others on the panel what our government is trying to do now to challenge people in the muslim world to confront the reality that this was very -- this is not a representative -- this film is not representative of america or the american government. >> mr. chairman, the film is absolutely not representative of america or the american government. it is deplorable. the issue you raise is a difficult one. we are a country where people have rights and one of the rights they have is to have free speech and that can include things we find deplorable as well as other things. so we also recognize that there's a right to assembly, a right to petition the government, so we recognize the right to have a peaceful demonstration against
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deplorable speech. what we need to keep communicating is as deplorable as we find that film to be, it is not never and never will be an excuse for violence and for the seeless killing we saw in benghazi and in other places and we need that voice to come loud and clear not just from washington but from the country as a whole internationally and it needs to come from people of all faiths. >> thank you very much. my time's up. senator collins. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. olson, i want to follow up on the series of questions that the chairman raised with you about the attacks in benghazi that cost the lives of four americans. first, i will tell you based on the briefings i have had, i've come to the opposite conclusion and agree with the president of libya that this was a
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premeditated planned attack that was associated with the date of 9/11, the anniversary of 9/11. i just don't think that people come to protest equipped with r.p.g.'s and other heavy weapons and the reports of complicity, and there are many, with the libyan guards who were assigned to guard the consulate also suggests to me that this was premeditated. nevertheless, i realize something you're still looking at, the f.b.i. is still looking at, but i for one believe that the reports are a very forthright conclusion by the president of libya is more likely the correct one. but putting aside the issue of whether this was an
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opportunistic attack or a premeditated one, the issue of the security of the consulate in what by any measure has to be considered a dangerous threat environment. continues to trouble me. it is clear that the security situation in benghazi was deteriorating given that there were at least four attacks that i'm told about beginning in june on diplomatic and western targets were also all aware that libya is awash in heavy weapons. i think there is something like 10,000 weapons that are missing, maybe 20,000. we also know that it's a b.a.s.s.ian for extremist groups including offshuths of al qaeda. we know the number two person
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in al qaeda was a libyan and was killed. the people of libya is having a hard time controlling their borders getting the militias under control and even this week the f.b.i. team investigating the attack had difficulties getting to libya safely because of the security situation. so given these facts, how would you personally have assessed the general threat environment prior to the attacks on our diplomats in benghazi and the former navy seals? >> well, ranking member, i would agree with your characterization of the threat and pretty much as you laid it out so the threat in libya from armed militant groups, from al qaeda affiliated individuals
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was high and that made libya in some ways very similar to other countries in the region. and certainly similar to parts of egypt, certainly similar to northern mali. we are concerned about nigeria. so the region, particularly those countries following the arab spring are faced with real challenges. from a security perspective. so we are again working with our partners both in the federal government here but also with the governments in the region seeking to increase the security as well as cooperating with them as well as specific threats or attacks such as the investigation that's ongoing in libya. >> was there any communication between nctc and the state department alerting them to the
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high threat environment of which benghazi was located and suggesting that the state department evaluate its security? >> over the last several months -- again, you highlighted in particular events in june of this year. we know there was a small scale attack on our mission post in benghazi in june. we also know there was a more sophisticated attack involving the convoy with the british ambassador in benghazi. so there were reports dealing those attacks and dealing generally the threat that was faced to u.s. and western individuals and interests in eastern libya from, again, armed militants as well as elements connected to al qaeda. there was no specific
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intelligence regarding an imminent attack prior to september 11 on our post in benghazi. >> was there any indications that there was communications between extremist militants and the libyan guards that were assigned to the consulate? >> in the immediate after -- prior to the -- >> prior to the attack? >> that question i think would be better addressed in the session that we're going to have tomorrow. >> ok. it just concerns me so grateful that there were not marines present in benghazi to depend the consulate -- defend the consulate and as i've been looking further into this issue, i'm learning that that situation is far more common
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than i would have thought and that we are relying on foreign nationals, perhaps on a british security firm that i'm told to be unarmed, and other more questionable and less secure means of protecting our american personnel in extremely dangerous parts of the world. and i'm just -- i'm just stunned and appalled that there wasn't better security for all of the american personnel at that consulate given the high threat environment. i know you're not in charge of asigning security ment -- you do communicate to the state department about the threat. can you enlighten me at all on why the security, the decisions were made to have virtually no
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security? >> i would say that we do as a community provide as much information as we possibly can in a timely way as possible with the state department as well as the rest of the federal government. we do rely -- and i would say this. we rely on host countries to help protect our diplomatic personnel in those countries. i think that the ultimate question that you asked -- the decisions about the post in benghazi would be better addressed to the diplomatic security within the state department. >> mr. perkins, is your f.b.i. team looking at the security as well as trying to better understand how the attack came about and whether or not it was premeditated? >> i think, senator, i do -- let me start by saying i share your specific concerns regarding the security in libya
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as well as on a larger scale. we have f.b.i. posted around the world and many places that have higher than usual security concerns. we need to do that to carry out our mission every day in the counterterrorism environment. with respect to the specifics within benghazi, within libya itself, we're counting on our investigators on the ground to be able to sort that out, to make obviously to gather the facts, go where the facts take us and on the back end be able to work with the state, state department, with the r.s.o., diplomatic security and others to share what it is we found that may be a benefit of providing security for people on the ground. >> thank you, senator collins. i do want to say for the record that last friday senator collins and i addressed a request from the inspector
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general at the department of state to do an investigation of what happened at the -- with regard to security at our consulate in benghazi prior to these deadly attacks and then to draw conclusions or lessons learned that might relate to provision of security generally, particularly at nonembassy locations throughout the world. the other thing i'd say -- although i understand -- you have a respectful disagreement on the question of whether the attack that resulted in the four american deaths in benghazi was preplanned for that day or kind of spontaneous taking advantage of the protestes that were going on, i do appreciate the fact, director olsen, that you as head of national counterterrorism center, told the committee this morning without hesitation that you believe what happened in
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benghazi was a terrorist attack. there seems to be a little confusion of that over the last few days and of course i couldn't agree with you more and i would await your conclusion of the investigation as to whether you think it was preplanned for that day or just spontaneous. my own inclination is to agree with senator collins. as i usually do. but i'll wait until the investigation. senator moran, in order of importance we have senator moran and senator akaka. i take that back. in honor of appearance, senator moran, akaka, prior and carper. >> i very much appreciated your original comment, mr. chairman, but have great deference in respect to the senator from hawaii and recognize his importance. >> thank you. >> what a difficult hearing with so many topics and how the world changes so often and so
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rapidly so i thank the chairman and the ranking member for hosting this hearing. i express my gratitude of the efforts being made making sure that americans are safe and secure around the world. i need to focus my attention, madam secretary, as you can expect on a conversation we constantly have and it deals with the threat of biological weapons, either intentional or inadvertent and for a long time the department of homeland security has been the lead agency, the lead department in developing a bioscience, agriscience facility and i think all the hurdles that been in place in completing this facility have now been completed with the national academy of science report that occurred -- that was released in july. you and i had a conversation in early august about the office
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of management and budget and i'd like to thank you personally for the graciousness, the kindness that you demonstrated toward me in our conversations and your interest in this topic in seeing a good conclusion to this facility being built. every time you testify, every time i asked you questions, you expressed your support, not only for the facility but for the location and the process by which that site location was made. i think we're at the point now, minneapolis, which there is no reason for you, your department not to allow the facility to proceed. there's a lot of uncertainty for the contractors that are on site and when their contracts expire and all money that has been spent on this facility, the state of kansas' and the congress appropriated $40 million for use in the utility plant and another $50 million
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to begin construction. it seems clear to me whether or not those dollars are available for those purposes rests in your hands as well as whether or not we proceed would require -- let me say that differently. it would require also in addition to the dollar that the land be transferred. i think that also rests at your desk. and my question is to be broadly asked -- now what, madam secretary, as which know the construction timetable only becomes more expensive. we know the need for the facility and i'm not certain how long the contractors have a purpose for being on site if you don't have the funds and i think kansas is willing to continue to provide resources, work with you to accomplish that, but in the absence of a land transfer, i think our confidence that something is
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going to happen here that our money's being well spent is greatly diminished. so my question is, minneapolis, now what? -- madam secretary, now what? >> you're right, senator moran. we've had a number of things to accomplish as predicates to being able to move forward. the most recent is the national academy of science's analysis. i think from all the studies, all of the analyses, i think they confirm a couple basic facts. one is we need a level four laboratory, a biolevel four laboratory for this country. it is an essential part of our security apparatus as it were. two, the current facility at plumb island is inadequate as a substitute although it will have to serve as a bridge and some moneys will have to be invested there to allow it to do so while we move forward. three, as you say, i think it
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is time that we begin moving forward with the land exchange and the utility plant. before we do so i hope to host a meeting with the kansas delegation and perhaps the governor to talk about outyear funding and cost shares and some of the things that kansas has mentioned. they are willing to contemplate. but the money for the cup and the $40 million has been held in our f.y. 2012 budget. we have an f.y. 2012 budget so we can move ahead so we will be in touch with your office about when we want to have this meeting. but i think it's necessary for the country but i think it's time to fish or cut bait. >> madam secretary, i always appreciate what you say and you expressed sentiments that i was pleased to hear what i would follow up with as you indicated
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now is the time. what's the definition is now is the time from many of our perspectives, now is the time has been true for a long time and again your -- let me see what your understanding is of what happens on some dates, september 30, october 30 when the contracts have expired and the contractors leave. i hate to rebid this. you say the time is now. it's not a matter of many months. it's a matter of a few weeks before this needs to happen. is that true? >> that's my understanding as well. what i hope to do is pull together and i know some of you will be back in your hope states but it can be done by conference call and people can come back here but i hope to pull together something in the next couple weeks. >> madam secretary, i spoke to governor brownback last evening. i spoke to him this morning.
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his request of me to you is that he will be on a plane today, tomorrow at his -- at your earliest convenience to reach an agreement in which you will sign the transfer. and we'll release the $40 million. >> we will be in touch with your office over the next few days. >> thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator moran. now senator akaka, a point of personal privilege before i call on senator akaka. this happens to be the day in which senator akaka will chair the last hearing of his subcommittee on federal work force and the district of columbia this afternoon. senator akaka has been given extraordinary leadership to this committee in a way that is
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unsung on human capital management and the federal work force. then he'll be concluding 36 years of the people of hawaii, 13 in the house and retiring at the end of this year to spend more time with what i take to be the great three loves of her life. four sons, one daughter, 15 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren. not bad. he's much loved here in the senate and in hawaii. he's accomplished an enormous amount in his time here. i want to just express to him not only my gratitude for his friendship and what an honor it's been to serve with him but as the chair of the committee to thank him for his steadfast
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and principled work on this committee year in and year out. and since i'm going -- we're going out together, so to speak, at the end of this term, one of the benefits i hope, danny, is that i'll benefit you in hawaii more often and we're expecting that -- as i turn it over to you say aloha. not bad from a yankee from new england. >> that's terrific. thank you very much, mr. chairman. and thank you for your words and i'm glad that we're stepping out of the senate together. i enjoyed working with you very, very much throughout the years. i want to thank you and our
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ranking member for your leadership on this committee and to the senate you -- and you continue to do great work. so thank you very much, mr. chairman, for your words. and thank you so much for holding timely hearing. the american servants who died as a result of what we consider senseless attacks in libya last week. i honor them and the federal employees overseas who risk their lives every day in service to this country. we all owe a debt of gratitude to those who have made
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essential contributions to fighting terrorism and fighting against it. in the face of domestic and international threats, we really rely on these workers to keep us safe and we'll continue to try to help these workers. also, i want to commend the department of our witnesses for your increased efforts for protecting our nation against terrorist attacks and for your partnerships that you've been bringing about so we can have the best kind of efforts made
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for our country and also for the training of 230,000 law enforcement officials to help in this effort. and i want to commend you for that. at my request i want to tell the panel the g.a.o. issued a report last week that highlighted troubling vulnerabilities in the security of radiological materials used at medical filts across the country. terrorists could use these materials to build a dirty bomb that would have devastating social and economic consequences. my question to the panel is, what is your reaction to this
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report of g.a.o. and what are the current threats regarding terrorist acquisition of radiological materials? >> senator, i'll start and i thank you for your years to the country. with respect to that report, it is primarily medical radiological material. the department of energy has the responsibility for the security of that material and how it is handled, so we are reaching out to them to see what steps they intend to take with respect to those medical materials. and we'll be happy to report back to you. >> mr. olsen.
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>> senator, i want to thank you for your years of service. in answer to your question, what i'd say as a general matter is we do have at nctc a significant element within our organization analysts who are focused solely on radiological, chemical, biological weapons and the possibility of terrorists obtaining and using those and we work closely with the national counterproliferation center in that regard as well as our domestic partners represented here and the c.i.a. and other agencies that focus overseas. it's obviously a significant concern for us, so i look forward to working again with secretary napolitano and the f.b.i. on this issue. >> thank you very much, director. mr. perkins. >> yes, senator, and i, too, congratulate you on your years of service and to the country. i reflect what madam secretary and director olsen both stated.
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we have weapons of mass destruction direct rate that works -- directorate that works closely with the department of energy, with components of d.h.s. as well as nctc tracking, following and trying to be in a mode where we're able to detect any thefts along those lines. so we have to review the other aspects of the g.a.o. report and get back to that, that we work closely with our counterparts in these agencies as well as the department of energy to mitigate those threats. >> thank you again for your partnerships. it really shows. as you know, secretary napolitano, as you know the senate failed to pass comprehensive siper security legislation prior to the august
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recess. because of pros pects of enacting legislation this year are dim, i support the president's use of his authorities to improve the cybersecurity and the power grid. my question to you is what is the contour of the executive order currently under consideration and what do you expect it will be -- when had it -- when do you expect it will be issued? >> senator akaka, there is an executive order that is being considered, it is still being drafted in the interagency process but i would say that it is close to completion pending a few issues that need to be
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resolved at the highest levels. and of course the president would need to be involved. perhaps it's easier to say what can't be in an executive order as opposed to what can be in an executive order. we need cyberlegislation. we still need the congress and appreciate the efforts everyone has made in this regard. this is something that the congress should enact in a comprehensive fashion. we've come close but we haven't been able to get across the goal line here. but it remains an urgent need. there are at least three things that i can think of at the top of my head that an executive order cannot solve. one is it cannot solve some of the limitations we have on personnel and personnel hiring and salaries and how that works. . it cannot solve issues about liability protections which are
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often viewed as a mechanism to have timely and effective information sharing and it cannot -- we cannot -- increase penalties for the bad actors that the f.b.i. finds. so those are at least three important areas that the robust e.o. >> thank you very much. >> thank you, senator akaka. let me pick up on the -- i was -- i appreciate that report, secretary napolitano, and i'm glad that the administration is going forward with the sense of urgency about this. there will be a variety of reasons to adopt cybersecurity in a lame-duck session but i
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agree with senator akaka. based on what we've been through up until now i wouldn't count on it. i'll be quite pleasantly surprised if we're able to find common ground and we're still working on it. we still have bipartisan discussions going on. with that probability of the failure to adopt the cybersecurity act of 2012 or something like it, i think the sooner the executive branch is ready to try to fill whatever gaps it can, the safer the country will be. so i appreciate that and i certainly -- i take this to be what the pace of work and the administration is so i am not saying at odds with it but i want to see how the lame-duck session works out. if we get something passed then it will presumably overcome the executive order and as you said there are at least those three matters that are in legislation
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that the president cannot adopt by executive order. i assume -- but i look for reassurance now that you and the department of homeland security are quite actively involved since you're charged with the unique responsibility for cybersecurity in the construction of a possible executive order regarding cybersecurity. >> yes, we have been very actively involved. i think that more and more people are -- one of the benefits of the legislation, even though it didn't pass, is it helped to begin educating people to the considerable civilian cyberresponsibilities and capabilities that are already been exercised by the department of homeland security. and i think that any executive order will reflect that as
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well. >> ok. that's good. do you know whether the executive order is considering the possibility that we've looked at in our own legislative work here that there are -- even though we ended up with a proposal that would have made compliance with the standards voluntary -- and i understand the president by executive order can't make them mandatory -- but we looked at the possibility that under existing statutory authority various regulatory agencies might have the existing authority to make whatever standards emerge mandatory on the sector of the economy that they oversee? >> mr. chairman, without talking in detail because things are still in draft -- >> sure.
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>> and the like but i can tell you that there's been a deep dive in the sector specific analysis as to where there may already exist some powers. >> ok. that's good to hear. i'm encouraged by that. let me give you an opportunity one more time to rebut what seems to be driving a lot of the opposition to the bill which is this would be the heavy hand of government over the private sector that controls critical cyberinfrastructure even though in the noncyberinfrastructure, the 18 areas that are designated now where -- which d.h.s. has authority over, there are -- you're working really quite constructively and clab are atively, i gather, with private sector in each of those areas.
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so what can we do to assure private sector that this tends to be collaborative, not coercive? >> i think, mr. chairman, i think we need to continue reminding the past is predicate to pro log to the future, that -- prologue to the future, that we work clab are atively in affecting critical infrastructure and that they themselves benefit if they shared standards. with respect to core critical infrastructure, many, many businesses and communities and families rely on that core infrastructure to be safe and secure. that in and of itself gal vates it to a different plain. we want to be collaborative. it is truly public-private in contemplation and in current activity but, again, a
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significant gap anywhere respecting core critical infrastructure can have ripple effects far beyond the individual entity that is the controller. >> agreed. director perkins, do you want to add? f.b.i. has developed really impressive cybersecurity compass its. obviously particularly with respect to domestic law enforcement. i take it you too are involved in the construction of a possible executive order? >> yes, mr. chairman, that's correct. we're working with our partners at d.h.s. to affect that end. i echo to some degree with secretary napolitano was talking about as far as the efficiency. we have to have the partnerships to make things work. many things the f.b.i. does partnerships make our work efficient. in the world of cybercrime and cyberthreat, partnerships are
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essential more than efficient. they have to be there in order for us to carry out our mission. so looking at the past, looking at the success we had with the partnerships we had with the private sector, we hope to play on that going forward to win the confidence and to get this type of -- whether it be legislation or zedge tif order in place -- executive order in place in order to carry out our mission. >> ok. my staff sent me a note saying that reuters news service is just reporting that the bank of america -- the bank of america's website has suffered intermittent problems amid threats on the internet that a group was planning to launch cyberattacks on the bank and the new york stock exchange, again, in retaliation for this film. do any of you know anything about that at this point? >> mr. chairman, there has been some ongoing activity, whether
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it's retalitory, i don't think has been determined. without going into more, i'll simply say, this is an example where we're working public to private and private to public that benefits everybody. >> director olsen or director perkins, do you want to add anything? >> i will just add, we were familiar with these reports as of last night and so there's been ongoing efforts in this regard. >> yes, sir, that's accurate. we're working with d.h.s. in that matter but beyond that point right now, i really can't share a great deal of detail on it as we look into it. >> ok. good enough. it does make the point, again, this is a news story i'm going from but you've given some legitimacy to parts of it although not clearly to whether it's related to the film. but it does make the point that we've been trying to make in the cybersecurity legislation that we're in an unusual
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circumstance now where the target of an attack by an enemy, whether a nation state or a terrorist group, would just as likely and some sense more likely be privately owned cyberinfrastructure that controls some significant part of life in america as opposed to attacking a military target or a government website or something of that kind. so, ok. i want to move to another area. and that is the extent to which over the last year or so the irgc -- its clients, in particular, hezbollah, have attempted to perpetrate a number of terrorist attacks in countries around the world. again, most recently the successful terrorist attack on
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a tourist bus in bulgaria. again, we know that last year the government of iran attempted to carry out an attack against the saudi ambassador here in washington from someone believed to be part of the mexican drug cartel. i want to ask the three of you. first to put this into context. my impression is that the iranian revolution guard corps and another have made a strategic decision to move out of their immediate neighborhood and to begin to operate internationally. am i correct, director olsen? >> what i would say, mr. chairman, is that we have seen an uptick in operational activity by the islamic revolution and guards force over the last year or so.
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and to your point, the plot against the saudi ambassador here in washington last fall highlighted a willingness of iran and its terrorist elements to actually carry out or seek to carry out an attack here in the united states? >> and what i'm wondering, my impression certainly is, traditionally, the irgc which operated in the middle east through hezbollah, sometimes hamas, and the iraqi shiia militias in obviously in iraq that they now seem to be spreading out more broadly. in cases we know in the u.s. and bulgaria, is that -- >> well, i would say -- i would say that your impression is consistent with my own.
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i mean, insofar as we've seen iranian influence in iraq and in afghanistan but we've also seen links between iran and terrorist operations in india, thailand, georgia. so it is a threat that's posed beyond the immediate region of iran. >> so let me ask any of you to what extent now expansion of terrorist activities sponsored by the iranian government rises as a threat to our homeland among the other terrorist threats to our homeland? >> at first, again, you mentioned and i discussed briefly the planned attack last fall, so it is -- i would consider to be a significant source of concern for us.
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both iran, the cud force as well as the group it coordinates with, lebanese hezbollah. >> director perkins. >> i agree that hezbollah and others have shown they both have the capabilities and the willingness to extend beyond that region of the world likely here in the homeland itself. we look at it as a very serious problem. we look at it as a serious threat. and we are focusing on intelligence analysts and others on a daily basis to monitor that threat to make determinations, is it increasing, is it dropping off and the like, but i agree with director olsen that think the capability and they have the willingness to do that which is two very important steps. >> yeah. obviously you're coordinating with other parts of our
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intelligence community that have unique responsibility for intelligence outside of the u.s.? >> that's correct, senator. that's a key point there that this is a whole of government approach to dealing with this. this is very key across the entire intelligence community, both outside of the u.s. as well as here in the homeland. >> ok. let me go to aviation security which overall postseason 9/11 has been an area where we put tremendous resources into the battle and overall we've successfully defended our country and the enormous number of americans and non-americans that travel by air. we offered testimony that al qaeda in the arraignian peninsula, nonetheless, continue to show an intention to attack american and
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international aviation systems. i want to again, secretary napolitano, apart from your statement in your prepared remarks, are there additional steps, are there some you'd like to highlight at this point which you think we can or should take to deter or detect future attacks by our aviation systems? >> well, i think the whole aviation sector demonstrates the necessity to have a layered approach so that if something or some group is able to evade one layer, another can pick it up. it begins with good intelligence, good intelligence sharing with our international partners. good intelligence sharing within the aviation sector. good intelligence sharing among the federal family. it goes to the standards that we require for planes bound for the u.s., both for passengers and for cargo and how we
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inspect those standards. it goes to what we ourselves require of airport and airport authorities that control, say, the parameter of the airport. we've had one or two instances that were breached last year. we jumped on both of those to see why and what corrective measures need to be taken. it goes into what you go in the airport, what you see in the area before you get to the gate. what you may not see in the area before you get to the gate. the construction of the gate itself with the new technology. and then things that we are doing in those so-called sterile area where even though we call it a sterile area there's still a lot of work underway and different things that t.s.a. does at on different days in different ways to increase security. so it's an entire layered approach. one of the things i think has
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really helped, and i think american passengers will begin seeing the benefits if they haven't already is moving to a risk-based approach where if we have preknowledge of a traveler and we have their biometrics, they will be -- they are able to go to the airport, go through customs more quickly. so we're really encouraging that. that takes pressure off of the lives. second thing that's going on is a lot of technology research to see if in this country where we have the world's best scientists and engineers, we can devise a system that's even more efficient for travelers and yet deals with the involving threat. research cycles take time but there's some very interesting work under way in that regard. >> director olsen, director perkins, you want to add to that? >> just a couple quick points. first in terms of the threat. i know we touched on this briefly, but we do see from al qaeda in the arabian peninsula
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that it's demonstrated its desire to carry out its act involving the aviation sector really three failed attempts since december of 2009, including one this past may. i concur completely with secretary napolitano in terms of developing a layered approach, in terms of nctc's contribution to that effort. we maintain the identity database of known and suspected terrorists which becomes the basis for watch listing and screening at least in part the type of screening that can take place at airports. and then finally i would highlight again the point that secretary napolitano made about the value of intelligence and developing at the earliest possible stages the signs and indications and information about individuals who may be seeking to carry out this attack so we can disrupt that type of plot before that person ever seeks to board an airplane or go to an airport. >> director perkins. >> yes, mr. chairman, i echo their comments.
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i agree that aqap is one of the top if not the top threat we face right now simply because of their act of willingness to continue coming at us in that way. i echo director olsen's comments as far as intelligence goes. one of the things we've done recently to enhance and build our intelligence capability, especially within our counterterrorism division, is a better integration of our intelligence analysts into operations. recently we have named three deputy assistant directors who are all intelligence analysts, nonagent personnel, intelligence analysts to weed those efforts within counterintelligence, counterterrorism, criminal investigative division. so the focus on intelligence ahead of time as well as the layered approach to thwart these attempts is vital. >> so you said something just now that anticipated the following question i was going to ask. we're in a context, as i've
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said, where al qaeda, core al qaeda, which was responsible for the 9/11 attacks on america, has been greatly weakened. bin laden is dead. a series of people have worked their way up to replace others are gone. the libyan who was close to the top is now gone. zawahiri unfortunately remains at liberty but i'm sure that he's in our sights, nonetheless. so if i asked you to give me what you would rank as the top -- let's see two or three -- i'm dealing here now particularly with islamic terrorist groups, what you list the two or three top islamist threats, you may put aqu at the
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top. iran -- >> obviously hezbollah. a lot depends on future world events as to where that goes. as we echoed, while they have the capability and willingness so that puts them near the top of that list as well. other emerging threats in other parts of the world that we look at in addition to aqap, west africa, east africa threats in those regions as far as their actual threat to the homeland, there's debate in those areas but nonetheless those are things near the top of our list we follow. >> director olsen, what's your -- what are your major concerns about sources of threats to our homeland? >> in terms of the threat to the united states homeland i would put a.q. in the arabian peninsula at the top of the
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list but i would put, again, a.q. core, notwithstanding its greatly capability, and it remains intent to carry out an attack, even if it's a smaller scale, less sophisticated attack we've seen in the past against the u.s. homeland and then, third, i would -- and, again, these are no in any particular order. i would include on that list iran and hezbollah. echoing the comment about it really -- the likelihood of an attack inside the united states depends on events in the middle east and what we see. >> understood. secretary. >> i would add to what was said the nature of homegrown islamist terrorists or terrorism. what we say, for example, the arrest in chicago last saturday. i think it was saturday of an individual and we've seen a pattern of this where several of these instances over the last year, i think, the
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internet serves as a facilitator for that. and i think the so-called lone wolf can also be a lone islamist in that regard, motivated by motivations that may be behind, for example, what occurred in benghazi. >> ok. well, i thank you, of three of you, very much. again, we made great progress. i think the american people have reason not only to be grateful for you for our increased security in the face of a really unusual, unprecedented threat to our homeland security. unique really in american history. but -- and we're not only improving our defenses. we're on the offense in a very real way. but the threat goes on and so will the work that you and this committee will continue to do. so i thank you very much. the record of the hearing will stay open for 15 days for any
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additional statements, questions that you or members of the committee have. director perkins, you can tell bob muler that he doesn't have to appear any more. -- bob mueller that he doesn't have to appear any more. he can stay at the office. thank you. the hearing is adjourned. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]
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>> several witnesses in today's hearing mentioned a classified briefing tomorrow on capitol hill on the attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi. if you'd like to see all of today's hearing again, you can watch it live in our video library at the u.s. house gafflings in momentarily for morning hour speeches, legislative business begins at 2:00 p.m. eastern with over two dozen bills on the agenda including the re-authorization of the federal emergency management agency. later this week in the house, a disapproval resolution on the
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obama administration's waiving of some welfare work requirements. over in the senate, work continues on a veterans' jobs bill with procedural votes coming up shortly in the senate. they're live on c-span2. later this week in the senate, they will take up a continued federal spending for fiscal year 2013 which begins october 1. the house passed that bill, their version of the bill last week. the current fiscal year ending september 30. now live to the house for morning hour here on c-span. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's rooms, washington, d.c. september 19, 2012. i hereby appoint the honorable steve womack to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, john a. boehner, speaker of the house of representatives.
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the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the order of the house of january 17, 2012, the chair will now recognize members from lists submitted by the majority and minority leaders for morning hour debate. the chair will alternate recognition between the parties with each party limited to one hour and each member other than the majority and minority leaders and minority whip limited to five minutes each, but in no event shall debate continue beyond 1:50 p.m. the chair recognizes the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. mcgovern, for five minutes. without objection. mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, for several years now i have come to the floor of the house and called for an end to the war in afghanistan. the longest war in the history of the united states. i have been joined by others, some democrats, some republicans, some liberals, some conservatives who have consistently raised their voices in opposition to the war. today once again i stand here in the aftermath of more
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senseless killings of americans, not only by taliban forces, but by forces associated with the afghan government. a government we support and are told to trust. it is hard to believe in the midst of a presidential campaign so little is being said about the war. during the republican national convention, nominee mitt romney never once mentioned the war or the troops in his acceptance speech, not even incentives, not a phrase, nothing. as one who has been to afghanistan twice, met with our troops, talked to returning veterans, and been to visit them in the hospital, i find that silence shocking and offensive. i also find offensive the fact that this house of representatives has refused to even debate this issue. when the department of defense authorization bill came to the floor early this year, the republican leadership in this house refused to allow a bipartisan amendment that i and walter jones of north carolina offered. that amendment called for an
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accelerated withdrawal of american forces from afghanistan. the chairman of the rules committee at the time said there were a lot of other important issues to be debated on the defense bill. my question is, what in the world is more important than this war? the after gap government someone of the most corrupt in the world. -- afghan government is one of the most corrupt in the world. our troops accomplished their mission not only ridding afghanistan of al qaeda but killing osama bin laden. by the way they got him in pakistan, not afghanistan. why are we still there? there is a culture in washington that engulfs both republicans and democrats. it is a culture that makes it easy to go to war but impossible to get out. there is no question that ending the war in afghanistan will be messy. there is no nice, neat way to do it. there will be no signing of a peace treaty, no grandpa raid. the president tells us we will turn over control of security operations to the afghans by 2014. but it is unclear how many u.s.
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forces will remain or what their role will be. and mitt romney says nothing. mr. speaker, there ought to be a major portion of this presidential campaign dedicated to the issue of afghanistan. vague deadlines and general ities no longer suffice. too many brave american service men and women have paid with their lives. while candidates talk about the debt our government carries, no one points out that we borrow the billions to pay for this war. we didn't even pay for it. it goes on the credit card. and we have been doing this for over a decade. in this congress we can't spend one additional penny to feed hungry children or create a single job or build a single bridge without finding an offset. yet when it comes to war there are no offsets, no new revenue, just another blank check. something is terribly wrong with this picture. finally, i would remind my colleagues here in the house
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that we are all responsible for this war. and we are complicit in the silence, lack of debate, and lack of oversight. that is wrong. we owe our service men and women so much better. we owe this country better. end the war and bring our troops home now. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. reyes, for five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlelady from california, ms. roybal-allard, for five minutes. ms. roybal-allardon i rise to pay tribtute to the nhli. the alum my will gather in washington, d.c., to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the founding of this nationally week recognized leadership development institute. the national latina
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organization based in washington, d.c., nhli was founded in 1987 in response to the u.s. department of label's glass ceiling initiative. this seminal study found that while minorities and women were making substantial gains in entering the work force, they were not equally represented at mid and senior level management positions in government or corporate sectors. the study also found that latinas were significantly underrepresented on corporate boards and in nonprofit and political arenas. over the past 25 years nhli has become a vital resource for latinas and key player in cultivating latina leaders serving america today. in partnership with harvard university and the center for creative leadership, nhli graduates have become a formidable cadre of educated,
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highly skilled, and committed latina leaders. they are a veritable who's who in many communities and disciplines, and the impact of the collective leadership is felt throughout the country. through various mentoring initiatives and community service projects, nhli alumni have directly impacted thousands of latinas in every state and in puerto rico. its network and leadership projects have helped create new nonprofit organizations and influenced various others, including the national latino children's institute, powerful latinas, positive directions, latina giving circle to name a few. finally, i would be remiss if i did not mention the founders of this great organization. this prestigious group includes
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maria toranyo, the honorable maria zeballe, the honorable ramona martinez, gloria rodriguez, the honorable raul isidida, and former governor bill richardson. through their vision and leadership nhli's programs have become the model for latina empowerment in this country. again my sincere congratulations to the national his pana leader-hispania leadership institute on the celebration of their 25th anniversary. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. reyes, for five minutes. mr. reyes: i ask unanimous consent to address the house. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. reyes: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise this morning to try to
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lend a little bit of perspective on a strategic -- strategy that we have seen evolving across our country and that strategy, i think, threatens to undermine one of the most basic rights and principles that we have as united states citizens, and that is the right to vote. unfortunately in many states, my state included in texas, there's a strategy to pass what is called a voter identification law seeking to solve a problem that apparently across the country does not exist, and that is people voting that don't have that right and try to give the impression that this problem is prevalent throughout our country. as we look back at our history, i think we should all be proud of the significant strides and increasing and strengthening
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the electoral process for all. let's not forget that originally upped our constitution only white males over the age of 21 were eligible to vote. it took several amendments to our constitution to fully extend this right to all minorities, women, and young people ages 18 and older. but it took us even longer, it appears, given the current situation, to live up to these ideals. as a child growing up in el paso on a farm, i can remember my father talking to us about that seek red right to participate and to vote. here is a poll tax that was charged for that right back in 1955, made out to my dad. back then it was $.75.
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today -- $1.75. today under the current strategic -- strategy -- the equivalent of this poll tax could be as much as $2020, $25, or even $30 for an identification card. who does that hurt? who does that imfact the most? it's the elderly. it's the young people. and it's minorities. while some people may think, well, $1.75, that wasn't much to pay for the right to vote, or today $20, $25, $30 isn't that muchle to exercise the privilege of voting, the fundamental issue here is that that is an inherent right guaranteed by our constitution. even if we wanted to look at it from an economic standpoint, in 2012, here is what that one 75
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poll tax bought back in 1955. a gallon of mil was 88 cents. bread, 15 cents. chicken, 44 cents a pound. cheese, .45 and so on. so for a man and his spouse paying two poll taxes, it would be $3.50. this is what they would have spent that money and often did rather than paying a poll tax of $1.75. today the milk is $1.99, bread is.199 -- $1.99. cheese, $2.50 to the point wherefore paying one poll tax or one identification card you could get these compared to the amounts of groceries. the fundamental question we
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must ask ourselves, when people talk about taking our country back, when people talk about the right to vote, these are the kinds of issues that impact us. these are the kinds of things that throughout our history many of us have fought to protect the rights of our citizens to participate in the electoral process. fundamentally guaranteed under our constitution. while i understand the intent of these laws, it is designed to supposedly prevent voter fraud and impersonation, the result affects individual participation in the inherent right to vote. requiring an i.d. and considering the difficulties that citizens face in the process of acquiring those state issued identification cards, which ultimately undermine the right to vote, this is a serious issue. all of us that teach our
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children and our grandchildren that the most fundamental right to participate is protected by our constitution have to remind them. i know i have talked to my children and have shown them this poll tax to remind them that freedom is not free. that people must understand their obligations as citizens. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from connecticut, mr. courtney, for five minutes. mr. courtney: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, one of the great football coaches in american history was vince lombardi from green bay, wisconsin, who, again, was very famous for his inspiring speeches to his players and to his staff. one of his most famous quotes was, winners never quit, and quitters never win. i wish, mr. speaker, that the republican leadership in the house would go back and read mr. lombardi's words when they made the decision this past
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friday to basically quit on the american people and say that we are going to recess this week after conclusion of business on friday for the next seven weeks. this isn't a time when not only the eyes of the country are on this chamber to get much needed critical decisions made, but frankly the eyes of the world are watching this congress to see whether or not, again, financial markets will have any horizon in terms of tax policy, in terms of budget policy, and in terms of a whole host of basic fundamental issues like the farm bill, like the post office functioning, that when on friday this place clears out after mr. boehner's decision to recess, are going to be left hanging for the next seven weeks. . the senate passed a bipartisan farm bill last june and today
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we stand here with farmers who are getting up in the morning and going out and milking cows or picking crops and they have programs which literally are expiring every minute, the price support programs expired on august 30, so dairy farmers in eastern connecticut, where i come from, whose feed costs are out of sight and fuel costs are out of sight, again have absolutely no structure and no basic understanding of how they are going to continue to survive because this place won't move forward on a farm bill with the dairy support structure, the dairy security act built in by the senate with the bill that they passed. again, the senate has acted. the senate passed a bill. they have a bill which extends crop insurance for five years. for all those farmers in the midwest who have seen their corn crops literally burn up in a historic drought, the fact of the matter is they have absolutely no idea about what the future holds because this chamber will not take up a farm
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bill and do its constitutional duty and get its work done. again, the post office, which fell into not just technical but actual real bankruptcy a month ago because of the structure of its pension costs, the senate has passed a postal reform bill which adjusts the finances of that system, again, with bipartisan support, and will allow the postal service to have some confidence that its operations and its post offices around the country can have some modicum of a future, this chamber will not take up a postal reform bill between now and this friday or for the following seven weeks. . these are two basic fundamental programs which congress did on a bipartisan basis without any of the drama and stress that the speaker's decision to quit, to use coach lombardi's
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phraseology, is creating. there is large issues, of course, which the american people are waiting this congress to work on. sequestration. i have ship-yards that are building nuclear submarines. they don't know whether the shane saws is going to go through the defense budget. we have a fiscal cliff in which middle-class families don't know what their tax rates are going to be after january. we have physician fees under the medicare program which again fall off a cliff on january 1. with all of these issues hanging out there, we still don't have a republican leadership in the house which has made the decision to go home on friday for the next seven weeks. again, coach lombardi had a right, winners never quit and quitters never win. this leadership is quiting, not only on the members that are prepared to roll up their sleeve and compromise and get the farm bill and postal bill and budget matters to get done once and for all, this is
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unacceptable leadership for the public trust which they have been given. this morning's "new york times" has a story, "congress nearing the end of the session where congress impeded output." they showed the numbers. this is the least productive congress in half a century. harry truman campaigned against the do-nothing congress. as of this week, this congress has enacted 173. a quarter of the do-nothing congress which harry truman made infamous and famous in american history. we can do better as a nation. we can get a farm bill passed. we can pass a postal reform bill which will keep that system alive. we can do budget policy which can create a horizon for the country which the american people sent us here to do, not go back home and campaign. i yield back my time. th
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>> i didn't really know what an i.t. did. my experience was as prosecutor we seldom -- occasionally would run into their law enforcement arm, they would be our agent and for a while i was doing mortgage fraud cases. i started up a mortgage fraud unit and dealing with the inspector general from h.u.d. i didn't really know the big picture what an i.g. was doing. when i got the job, when i came down, one of the things i did was meet the different i.g.'s. and starting with those meetings and over the next couple years, i found the inspector generals,
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i.g.'s as we call them, are supposed to be these fierce watchdogs looking out for waste, fraud, and abuse. those are the magic words written into their thought stauth and what they are supposed to be doing -- statute and what they are supposed to be doing, their number one concern seems to be things about their budget, how to preserve their budget. they are very worried about clashing with management. they are very worried about too much interactions with congress. it was a go along, get along type of attitude. i kept hearing over and over again, three types of different i.g.'s, a lap dog who would curl up in the lap of manage, discouraged. a watchdog which was in between. and the jug yard dog -- junkyard dog. i think ultimately when i was going through the confirmation process, i was told by the head of the finance committee, who oversaw one of my confirmation hearings, i needed to be a junkyard dog. >> neil worked to uncover waste,
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fraud, and abuse in the bailout program. more from his book, "bailout" sunday night at 8:00 on c-span's "q&a." >> find unfiltered truth. what they are saying, when they are saying it. and why they are saying it. beyond that i like to use it as what's happening in the contry. sometimes you get so caught up in the beltway, one of the those that i really enjoy is "washington journal" because the calls are unsensored. you get to know what people are thinking. that made my job easier. especially a lot of times we have morning interviews and c-span has one on the same topic. so i know what conservatives thinking what, liberals are thinking. it allows me to get my argument. before i walk in the studio doors. >> richard fouler watches c-span on comcast. c-span created by america's cable companies in 1979. brought to you as a public service by your television provider.
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>> up next on c-span, video obtained by mother jones magazine, of republican presidential candidate mitt romney at a may 17 fundraiser in boca raton, florida, the entire version was released yesterday. mr. romney said these brief videos were merely a snippet and not his full response. his whole remarks courtesy of mother jones are about 50 minutes. >> and -- i'm going to say because the table is small enough and the room is intimate enough i'd like to spend our time responding to questions you
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have, listening to advice you might have. occasionally as i did a moment ago, i get envelopes like that, and they will be campaign ideas, why don't you talk about the following issues. i'm happy to take advice and we can all vote whether it's a good piece of advice or bad piece of advice. so we'll get a chance to do that. i'm looking to get your perspectives. a couple things you may not know about me. you probably know that i'm the father and grandfather of 18. my oldest son had twins this last week. and so our grandchild nest is getting larger and they are a source ever great joy. when i was probably halfway through my career at bain consulting, i met with the lawyers to draft a will and she said, how do you want to divide
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what estate you might eventually have? i said i didn't have anything at that point. i want to divide it equally among my five sons. she says how much will you want to give to the grandchildren they will ultimately have? i said i don't want to give anything to them. i want to give it to the sons and they in turn will give it to their children as needed. she said you'll change your mind. i said, no, no. so i saw her a month ago, i don't want to give anything to my sons. it's not just because i love my grandchildren, because i do. but i'm very concerned about what this nation will be like over the coming decade or two. and i really do, as i said in my remarks earlier, i see two very different scenarios.
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one as america really power the world economy, with an extraordinary economy, with china working with us. and a very vibrant america with freedom and prosperity for the great wealth of the american people. and i really do see something like europe. i think that's the path we are not going down. that's why i want to make sure what little i have left after the campaigns goes to my grandchildren. that's one piece about me that you may not know. the other is about my heritage. my dad you probably know was the governor of michigan, was the head of a car company, but he was born in mexico. and having been born of mexican parents, i have a better shot of winning there, but living in mexico a number of years and i say that jokingly.
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she is the woman running for u.s. senate in massachusetts who said that she's cherokee and over the application over the years she's cherokee. and harvard she put down she's a minority. it turns out at most she's 1/32, and even that can't be proven. i can put down my name as mexican. but his dad was in construction. very successful in mexico but in america went broke more than once. my dad never had the money or time to get a college degree. without a college degree he had a car company. and believed in america, believed in the opportunity in this country. never doubted for a moment that he could achieve his dreams. my wife's dad was born in wales.
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his dad was a coal miner. this coal miner got injured in a coal mining accident. realizing there was no future there for him or his four children he came to detroit and worked with the auto factories so they could save enough money to bring the kids over, which he did. and then they had together as a family, said, to be successful in america you got to get an education. they couldn't afford an education. and the kids and parents said, if we all work and we all save, we could afford to send one of us to college. they sent my wife's dad. working and taking a couple jobs and saving your money so that your brother -- so went to college. general motors institute of technology, which is one of these programs you work a semester and go to school a semester.
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and after it was over he became more successful and was able to hire his brothers and brother-in-law and provide for them. both my dad and ann's dad did quite well in their life. when they came at the end of their lives, they passed along to ann and me, we both decided to give it all away. i have inherited nothing. everything we have we earned the old-fashioned way and that's by work. [applause] [inaudible] >> i say that because there is a perfect exception that you never had to earn anything and so forth. frankly i wasn't born with a silver spoon, which is the greatest gift you could have which is to be born in america. 95% of life is settled for you
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if you are born in this country. sorry to bore you with the story. when i was back in my private equity days we went to china to buy a factory there, employ about 20,000 people. they were almost all young people between the ages of 18 and 22 or 23. they were saving for foningsly becoming married and they work in these huge factories. they made various small appliances. and as we were walk through this facility, seeing them work the number of hours they work per day, living in dormitories with little bathrooms at the end of maybe 10 rooms. and the rooms they had 12 girls per room. three bunk beds on the top of each other. and around this factory was a fence, a huge fence with barbed wire and guard towers. we said, gosh, i can't believe that you keep these girls in. they said, no, no, this is to keep other people from coming in
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because people want so is badly to come work in this factory that we have to keep them out or they'll just come in here and start working and -- this is to keep people out. actually in chinese new year, the girls go home. sometimes they decide they saved enough money and they don't come back to the factory. and he said so on the weekend after chinese new year, there will be a line of people, hundreds long, out the back, hoping that some girls haven't come back and they can come to the factory. so as we were experiencing this for the first time, the same partner i was with turned to me and said, this is an amazing land. and what we have is unique and fortunately is so special we are sharing it with the world. i am concerned about the future but also optimistic as i said. i look forward to getting america back on track and having
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people plan on bringing their ideas and their dreams to this country. we didn't talk about immigration today. gosh i love to bring in more legal immigrants. they have skill. we want you here. instead we make it hard for people to get educated here go elsewhere to make this their home. unless of course you have no skill or experience in which case you are welcomed to cross the border. very strange run by people who don't understand the global competition of ideas andure idea has to win, but only if america remains strong. ism he going to turn to you for -- i'm going to turn to you for counsel, advice, or questions, policy questions, you want to talk about tax policy. or political questions.
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please. >> one comment. you can look at the american people and say, if you vote for -- [inaudible] >> the former head of goldman sachs was also the former head of the new york federal reserve and met with him and said as soon as the fed stops buying all the debt we arish shoeing -- we are issuing, once that's over, we are going to have is a treasury option. interests rates will have to go up. we are living in this borrowed
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fantasy world where the government keeps on borrowing money. we wonder who is loaning us $1 trillion? the russians aren't loaning it to us? who is giving us $1 trillion? the answer is we are just making it up. the federal reserve is just taking it and saying, here, made up money. this does not bode well for our economic future. some of these things are complex enough it's not easy for people to understand, but bankruptcy usually -- >> you travel around america and talk to people. [inaudible] >> to what extent do people really understand -- >> they don't. by and large people don't get
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it. people -- part of it is our fault. the fact greece going through it and they read about france, italy, and spain has made this issue topical for the american people. so when you do polls and ask people what is the biggest issue in the 2012 election, number one is the economy and jobs by a wide margin. number two is the deficit. and -- they recognize you can't go on forever. the people who recognize that tend to be republicans. and the people who don't recognize it tend to be democrats. what we have to get is that 5% or 10% in the middle who sometimes vote republicans, sometimes vote democrat and have them understand how important this is.
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"usa today" publishes this every year, it's a front page story. headlines once a year. and that is if you take the total national debt and the unfunded liabilities of medicare, social security, and medicaid, the amount of debt plus unfunded liabilities per household in america is $520,000, per household. and even though we are not going to be writing a check for that amount per household, there is going to be interest on that. my generation will be long gone and you'll be paying interest. you'll be paying taxes not only for the things you want in your generation, but for all the things we spent money on, which is just amazing. it's extraordinary to think that a tax rate, someone calculated what would happen if we don't
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change medicare or social security, the tax rate -- you know what the payroll tax is now? it's 15.3%. if we don't change those programs, that tax rate will ultimately rise to 44%, the payroll tax. then there's the income tax on top. say 40%. then there's state taxes in most states. and the sales tax. you end up taking 100% of people's income. yet the president 3 1/2 years in won't talk about reforming social security or medicare. and when the republicans do, it's the oh you are throwing granny off the cliff. you are killing the kids. the biggest surprise i have is young people will vote for a democrat. holy cow, the only guys worried about the future of our country are republicans. but the democrats, they talk about social issues, draw in the young people, and they vote on that issue.
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[inaudible] >> governor romney, we are former bostonians. we totally agree with what you said economically, but i would like to know -- i would like you and more discussion on what i consider the real issue. the issue of iran. how you would do it different from president obama? >> thank you. by the way start eating. those of you who have food in front of you, it's warm. start eating. i'm standing up so i can see you but i'm not standing up so you can stop and look at me. it's important to look at your food as you're eating it.
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or you'll put a fork in your finger. you are right which is a nuclear iran is an unthinkable outcome. not just for our friends in israel and friends in europe, but also for us. because iran is the state sponsor of terrorism in the world. hezbollah throughout latin america. hezbollah with fissile material. if i were iran, if i were iran, and -- i would say let's get a little fissile material to hezbollah and have them carry it to chicago or other place and if america starts acting up, we'll say guess what unless you stand down we'll let off a dirty bomb. this is where america could be held in blackmail by war.
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we really don't have any options that could keep iran -- i'll get the specific on iran and talk more broadly about foreign polcy. the specific on iran we should put in place crippling sanctions beginning at the president's term, we did not. he would say yes, but russia didn't go along with it. well, he gave russia their number one foreign policy objective, protecting all they cared about is getting missile defense, and he gave them that. and got nothing in return. he could have, i presume, gotten them to agree to crippling sanctions against iran, he did not. which is in my opinion one of the greatest foreign policy errors of modern time. and by the way if he could not have gotten that from russia, he should have kept the missile defense sites just to keep a bargaining chip on the table. i would have kept thement. i wouldn't have traded them
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away. number two, we should have been aggressively supporting the voices of dissent in iran. and finally, we should have made clear at least by now that we have military plans potentially to remove their nuclear capability. that doesn't mean we actually pull the trigger, but it means we communicate to them that we are ready to do so and it is unacceptable to america. instead what this administration has done is communicate to the iranians that we are more worried about israel attacking them than we are -- it's extraordinary. so those are some thoughts. i'll step back on foreign polcy. the president's foreign policy in my opinion is his magnetism and his charm and his persuasiveness is so compelling that he could sit down with people like putin and chavez and
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ahmadinejad and they are such wonderful people they'll go along with t and they'll stop doing bad things. and it's an extraordinarily naive perception and it led to north korea and iraq, obviously iran and egypt around the world. my view is the centerpiece of american foreign policy has to be strength. everything i do will be calculated to increasing america's strength. when you stand by your allies you increase your strength. when you attack your allies you become weak. when you stand by your principles you get stronger. when you have a big military that's big thearn anyone else, you are stronger. when you have a strong economy, you build america's strength. for me everything is about america's strength. and communicating what is and is not acceptable. speaking softly and carrying a very, very, very big stick. this president has said speak loudly and carry a tiny stick.
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and that is -- that's not the right course for foreign polcy. i saw dr. kissinger in new york. you're not eating. i saw dr. kissinger. i said how are we perceived around the world? he said, one word, that's how this president is perceive by our friends and unfortunately by our foes. it's no wonder people like king jungung the -- kim jungung the new leader of korea said he wouldn't -- what's this president going to do? if you can't act don't threaten.
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[inaudible] >> i'm going to ask you. >> i think it has to do with the fact -- [inaudible]
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>> i appreciate the idea. one of the things that's frustrating to me is that typical day like this when i do three or four events like this the number of foreign policy questions i get are between zero and one. and the american people are not concentrated at all upon china, on russia, iran, iraq. yet in the jimmy carter election the fact that we had hostages in iran, i mean that was all we talked about. we had the two helicopters crash in the desert. that was the focus. i'm afraid today
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[inaudible] something of that nature presents itself i will work to find way to take advantage of the opportunity. >> i'm torn by two perspectives in this regard. one is the one which i have had for some time which is the palestinians have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace. and that the path way to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish.
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some say the palestinians have the west bank. and a separate nation. and then a couple of thorny questions. the war between israel and the west bank is right there. right next to tel aviv, the financial capital of israel. the center of israel. nine miles. the challenge is, the other side of the west bank, the other side of what would be this new palestinian state would either be in syria or jordan. and of course the iranians would want to do through the west bank exactly what they did through lebanon and what they did in
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gaza, which is the iranians who want to bring missiles and armaments into the west bank can potentially bring missiles. israel, of course, would have to say that can't happen. we got to keep the iranians from bringing weaponry into the west bank. that means that, who, the israelis are going to target -- patrol the border between jordan, syria, and this new palestinian nation? what the palestinians would say, no way. we are an independent country. you can't guard our border with our arab nations. how about flying into this palestinian nation? are we going to allow military aircraft? and if not, who is going to keep it from coming in? the israelis. the palestinians are going to say we are an independent nation f israel is able to come in and tell us they are going to land
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at their airport. these are problems and they are very hard to solve. i don't think the palestinians -- [inaudible] committed to the elimination of israel and these are the thorny issues and i say there is just no way. what you do you say you move things along the best way you can. you recognize -- we looked at that in china and taiwan. we have a potentially volatile situation. [inaudible] on the other hand i got a call from a former secretary is of state, i won't mention which one it was, but this individual said to me, you know, i think there's some prospect for a settlement between the palestinians and israelis.
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i said what do you mean? i think there's some prospect. i didn't devil into it. i always keep open the idea of pushing on the israelis to give something up? to give the palestinians a part is the worst idea in the world. we have done it time and time and time again. it does not work. 9 only answer is show them strength. american strength. american resolve. and the palestinians when they want peace rather we are trying to put peace on them. that's where the discussion is. [inaudible]
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>> i am very concerned that the average american who doesn't know you, there is a -- [inaudible] george bush senior and he had told me in my -- [inaudible] right now i'm very concerned -- [inaudible] after talking to them and explaining on a one-on-one basis
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is, we are able to change their opinion but on a mass level how -- what do you want us to do in this group here as you are emissaries going out to someone who is obviously going to be such an incredible asset to you. >> i have good news for you. it's not impossible. for instance "the new york times" had a poll last week, "the new york times" and nbc, and i was leading by two points among women. now the president came out and said this is an outrageous poll. they don't know what they are doing. it makes no difference. but the point is we are going to -- women are opened to supporting me. but they are disappointed. they are disappointed with the jobs. they are disappointed with their own -- so we can capture women's
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vote. hispanic voting block becomes as committed to the democrats as the african-american voting block has in the past, but we are in trouble as a party, as a nation. [inaudible] >> we have great hispanic leaders in our party that will help communicate what our party stands for. and frankly what i need you to do is to raise millions of dollars. that's by far the most important thing you can do. because you don't -- you don't have the capacity to speak to hundreds of thousands of people. i will be at those debates. there will be 150 million americans watching. if i do well, it will help. if i don't, it won't hem.
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>> you will do well. because plause -- [applause] >> but the advertising makes a difference. the president will engage in a personal character assassination campaign and so we'll have to fire back. [inaudible] all the money will get spent in 10 states. the best thing i can ask you to do -- talk to people. tell them you know me. word of mouth makes a big difference. i'm not well-known by the general american public. >> you are a rich boy. they say he's a rich man. >> given all those negative
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things, the fact that i'm either tied or close to the president and the fact he's out there talking about the one year anniversary of osama bin laden. we are still tied? that's very interesting. and -- >> i think a lot of young children coming out of college feel they were let down by the president. [inaudible] >> why is it bad to be
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successful? why is it bad to kill yourself and why is it bad to -- [inaudible] >> if you heard my speech tonight, again -- in every stump speech i give i speak about the fact that people who achieve enormous success -- the republican audience i speak to applaud. the media there, they write about it. they say romney is the success of america, dreamers.
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they write about it. but in terms of what gets through to the americans -- [inaudible] we'll have three debates. we'll have a chance to talk about that in the debates. there will be ads which will attack me. i will fire back in a way that describes in the best way we can . i wind up talking about how the thing which i find most disappointing is his attack of one american against another american. going after those who have been successful. i call marco rubio, in my speeches i say marco rubio -- [inaudible] senator rubio said when he grew
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up here poor that they looked at people that had a lot of wealth as and his parents never once said we need some of what they have. we should give us some. they said if you work hard and go to school, someday we might be able to have an opportunity. [applause] how much of that gets picked up? there are so many things that don't get picked up in the campaigns. most people don't watch through the summer. i said we are going to go into a season here may, june, where no attention -- after labor day, that's when it will get -- [inaudible] >> how are we going to convince everybody you got to take care of yourselves? >> 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. there are 47% who are with them, who depend upon government, who
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believe they are vick is tims, who believe that government has the responsibility to care for them, who believe they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. that's anonymity. the government should give it. and they will vote for this president no matter what. and the president starts off with 48, 49, shows up with a huge number. these people who pay no income tax. 47% of americans pay no income tax. he'll be up there talking about tax cuts for the rich. so my job is not to worry about those few. is 5% to 10% in the sent they're are independent, that are thoughtful. voting one way or the other depending in some cases emotion, whether they like the guy or not. not. what he looks like.

U.S. House of Representatives
CSPAN September 19, 2012 10:00am-1:00pm EDT

News News/Business. Live coverage of House proceedings.

TOPIC FREQUENCY America 35, Benghazi 30, Us 27, Libya 18, U.s. 16, Napolitano 14, Olsen 14, United States 14, Perkins 11, Washington 11, Collins 10, Iran 10, The F.b.i. 9, Hezbollah 9, Israel 8, Afghanistan 8, Akaka 8, Nctc 7, Lieberman 6, China 5
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